Today, Rubius Therapeutics, which has been working on turning hematopoietic stem cells into red blood cells and "functionalizing" them with built-in therapeutic proteins that can address dozens of potential drug targets, is coming out of stealth mode with a $25 million Series A bankrolled entirely by Flagship Ventures, an early-stage investor which fostered the biotech in its prolific VentureLabs.
Verge Genomics has raised $4 million to finance a computer-based drug discovery program targeting neurological disorders. The plan is to map all the genes implicated in a disease, using technology that Verge compares to Google's search engine, and find drugs that can hit each of the targets simultaneously.
The Johns Hopkins University and Luminox Health, a digital health startup hub based in Israel, have signed a multi-year deal to work together to co-develop new digital health technology products. The pair expect to be able to enhance funding access and accelerate development for the resulting companies.
The first clutch of companies have graduated from Illumina Accelerator, the startup incubator program the sequencing giant set up last year. And with more than $40 million in VC cash secured to help the startups grow, Illumina is now looking for the next group of companies to join.
Anyone with a passing interest in tech startups is unlikely to be shocked by Silicon Valley VC Andreessen Horowitz listing digital health as one of its top 16 trends. But as one of the organizations with some power over how these trends play out, the reasoning behind Andreessen Horowitz's list makes for interesting reading.
Another incubator is ready to test Y Combinator's theory that it is possible to get a biotech-related startup off the ground with smaller sums of money than ever before. VC shop SOS Ventures is offering startups working broadly in biology $35,000 in seed funding, mentors and lab space at incubators in San Francisco and Cork, Ireland.
Startup CoheroHealth, developer of the AsthmaHero app and spirometer for measuring the volume of air inhaled and exhaled by the lungs, will test its solution on 50 patients at New York City's Mount Sinai Medical Center.
This year, TEDMED has a series of digital health startup company presentations as part of its Hive collective.
Venter has gone to Mountain View to make his latest hire, nabbing Franz Och to build a Google Translate for genomics.
After weeks of increasingly confident media speculation, Google has confirmed it is setting up an outpost of its venture capital wing in Europe. And with a brief to follow a similar strategy to the U.S. team that invested in Flatiron Health, DNAnexus and other biotech IT startups, the $100 million fund is a new source of capital for European life science innovators.